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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Curiosity proves Mars had the formula for life

By Amina Khan





JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) Hydrogen. Carbon. Oxygen. Nitrogen. Sulfur. Phosphorous. These elements account for more than 96 percent of the stuff life on Earth is made from — and all six have been found in a rock sample on Mars.

NASA scientists said Tuesday that the Curiosity rover discovered these basic building blocks of life in the very first rock it has drilled from beneath the Martian surface — along with signs that the Red Planet was once capable of hosting primitive microbes.

"It definitely has all the indications of being a habitable environment at one point in time," Michael Meyer, lead scientist for NASA's Mars Exploration Program, said at a news conference in Washington.


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The rover's results are filling in a picture of what increasingly appears to have been a very inviting environment — low acidity, full of water, with signs of chemically complementary compounds.

"We have found a habitable environment that is so benign and is so supportive of life that probably if this water was around and you had been on the planet, you would have been able to drink it," said John Grotzinger, lead scientist for the Mars Science Laboratory mission, as Curiosity is officially known.

Grotzinger, a geologist at the California Institute of Technology, was quick to add that "we're not a life-detection mission." Curiosity's analytical machinery isn't built to find life's metabolic remnants, and its cameras wouldn't be able to resolve an image of a fossil microbe if it were staring the rover in the face, he added.

Still, the findings fired up the imaginations of NASA officials.

"I feel giddy," said John Grunsfeld, a former astronaut who now serves as an administrator for the space agency's Science Mission Directorate. "I have an image now of possibly a lake, a freshwater lake, on a Mars with probably a thicker atmosphere."

The discovery fulfills the primary purpose of Curiosity's mission just seven months after its landing on the Red Planet. It also provides a major coup for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Canada Flintridge, Calif., which is managing the mission.

Among the first hints that Curiosity's first drilled sample would reveal a wealth of information was its color. Rather than rusty red, the powder drilled last month showed up as shades of gray — indicating that the rock underneath, protected from the atmosphere, could still contain vital information about the planet's mineral history.

"If there was organic material present there, it could have been preserved," said David Blake of NASA's Ames Research Center in Northern California. Blake is the scientist in charge of Curiosity's chemistry and mineralogy instrument.

Analysis revealed that the rock was 20 percent to 30 percent clay, which forms in the presence of water, Blake said.

That sign of water may sound like no big deal — after all, the Opportunity rover that landed on Mars in 2004 found signs of water in Meridiani Planum.

But water is just part of the picture. Rock from Meridiani had magnesium and iron sulfates, salts that indicated a highly acidic environment.

The sample Curiosity drilled from a rock in Mars' Gale Crater, on the other hand, bore calcium sulfate and halite. Those are signs of a much more neutral environment — and one far more conducive to life.

In addition, the rock, named John Klein in honor of a NASA engineer who died in 2011, lies in a former river system or a lake bed that once held enough water to host life, Grotzinger said.

Meridiani, on the other hand, had so little water that all of the fluids in a hypothetical microbe would have been sucked right out by the salt in the environment (rather like table salt on an unfortunate slug).

In Gale Crater, many of the compounds Curiosity detected — such as sulfates and sulfides, for example — seem to occur in pairs with positive and negative charges, like the two sides of a battery.

"These are the kind of things that tell you that there could have been a flow of electrons in the environment," Grotzinger said, a sign that life's battery was running.

The trove of key elements also serves as validation for Grotzinger and other mission scientists who lobbied for Gale Crater to be the rover's landing site.

In Yellowknife Bay, less than half a mile from where Curiosity touched down, the Mars scientists have already found much of what they were looking to uncover at Mount Sharp, the 3-mile-high mound in the middle of Gale Crater whose layers may reveal the various chapters of the Red Planet's geologic history.

As the rover makes its way there, it will now take more time to analyze the geological cues it encounters along the way.

"We'll be trying to figure out how the rocks we're at now at Yellowknife Bay relate to Mount Sharp," Grotzinger said. "That's how we get the relative age of all this stuff."

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© 2013 Los Angeles Times Distributed by MCT Information Services

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